Alena Analeigh was only 12 years old when she gained admission into Arizona State University last year to pursue a course in engineering. Around that same period, the teen was also enrolled at Oakwood University.
And though simultaneously studying at two different universities may come off as a herculean task, Alena, in the space of one year, has already completed over two years of college after opting to take a full course load, 12 News reported.
The teen initially dreamt of working at NASA. But she was later inspired to pursue a career in medicine. Her eventual admission into the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine has made her the youngest Black person in the United States to get accepted into a medical school.
“I really want to leave my mark on the world. And lead a group of girls that know what they can do,” Alena told the news outlet in an interview.
The teen said her decision to study medicine was spurred by her passion for biology. “It actually took one class in engineering, for me to say this is kind of not where I wanted to go,” the teen said. “I think viral immunology really came from my passion for volunteering and going out there engaging with the world.”
Alena said a trip to Jordan inspired her to enroll in medical school. She also credited The Brown STEM Girl foundation. “What I want from healthcare, is to really show these underrepresented communities that we can help that we can find cures for these viruses,” she said.
Alena should become a doctor at the age of 18 if she’s able to successfully graduate from medical school. “I want to inspire the girls. I want them to see that there are no limits,” the teen said.